It is a sure thing for those who believe in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14) and repent (2 Corinthians 7:10) and love and obey (1 John 3:10). That certainty is stated in the form of a promise (Mark 16:16) which is conditional – because those who do not believe will obviously not repent nor love nor obey.
Clearly, those who have believed and obeyed must have heard or otherwise encountered the truth they have accepted (Acts 4:4; Romans 10:14). But there is no scripture I’ve found which excludes from salvation those who haven’t heard and therefore could not believe. They can have no hope of it, since they have not heard of the promise to believers. But believers and those who don’t believe will be judged in the same way – by what they do (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 1:17).
So, while it begins in the here and now (2 Corinthians 6:2), it is also not something fully delivered until hereafter (Hebrews 9:28). In the meantime, we who believe are shielded through faith until that salvation is revealed (1 Peter 1:5) – and yet, in another sense, we are receiving it (1 Peter 1:9). So we work out that salvation, with God working it in us (Philippians 2:12-13). In fact, we who believe are to wear it and the hope of it like a helmet (Ephesians 6:17 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:8). The day of its delivery grows ever closer (Romans 13:11).
Salvation continues to be offered to all people (Titus 2:11). That doesn’t say it will be given to all people; but it is offered. God would like for all to be saved … but in scripture, salvation seems to be conditioned upon repentance (2 Peter 3:9; Acts 11:18). We demonstrate our penitence by what we obediently do (Acts 26:20), so that all are ultimately judged according to what we do by the Lord (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15). It’s the same basis on which we who believe are judged by those around us, whether they believe or not – and if they have seen good works, will glorify God. (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12).
Sadly, there is only one prospect for those who hear truth yet reject and disobey Christ: there will be wrath and anger (Romans 2:8); they will not see life (John 3:36); the words of the One whom they have rejected will condemn them (John 12:48). Their destruction (Galatians 6:8 ; Philippians 3:19 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:9 ; 2 Peter 3:7) is in a lake of fire, the second death (Revelation 20:11-15), in which only the devil and his angels are tormented forever (Revelation 20:7-10). Disobedient, impenitent mortals will be consumed by its fire (Hebrews 10:27). “Destruction” is a word which is oppositional to “preservation.” “Death” is oppositional to “life.” Those who have eternal life are preserved; they live forever. Nothing I’ve found in scripture speaks of eternal life being given to the disobedient, to be endured in never-ending torment.
However, scriptures which speak of eternal life for those who inherit it are abundant: Matthew 19:16-30 , Mark 10:17-30, Luke 18:18-30; John 3:15-36, John 4:14, 4:36, 5:24, 5:39, 6:27, 6:40, 6:47, 6:54, 6:68, 10:28, 12:25, 12:50, 17:2-4; Acts 13:46-48; Romans 2:7, 5:21, 6:22-23; Galatians 6:8; 1 Timothy 1:16, 6:12; Titus 1:2, 3:7; 1 John 1:2, 2:25, 3:15, 5:11-20; Jude 1:21 .
The promise of that, offered through Christ, is something worth sharing!
Those are my conclusions. You need to reach yours.
Read about it. Pray about it. Live toward it.
I’ll see you there!